Te Puna Bay is named for the lake or lagoon located on a flat area behind the beach. Puna means spring or pool in Māori.
The flat land between the lake and the beach was used by early European settlers as a football field. Players travelled from around Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D’Urville Island and the Marlborough Sounds to participate.1
In 1877 a boatload of survivors from the wreck of the Queen Bee, that foundered on Farewell Spit, landed in the bay after a day and night drifting in Tasman Bay. The survivors sought and were given help by Ngāti Koata living at Ohana Pa.2
On the slopes above the bay there is evidence of mounds and rectangular pits most likely used by residents of Ohana to grow food.3
Rakariri Bay is separated from Te Puna Bay by Sauvage Point. Sauvage is the French word for wild. The point and the bay are both known to be very dangerous in poor weather and are surrounded by sharp rocks.4
2. Stephens, Joy, “Wreck of the Queen Bee”, The Prow, accessed, June 19, 2018, http://www.theprow.org.nz/events/wreck-of-the-queen-bee/#.WyjMxaczbIU .
3. I. W. Keys, “The Cultural Succession and Ethnographic Features of D'Urville Island”, The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 69 (1960), accessed April 24, 2018, http://www.jps.auckland.ac.nz/document/?wid=3081 .